JESUS’ FIRST BATTLE WITH DEMONS – 2
In our previous blog we started looking at Jesus’ first conflict with a demonized person. It was a man in the synagogue where He was teaching (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37). Lets look at some more lessons we can learn from that encounter.
LESSON FOR TODAY 3: It is not coincidental that it was Jesus’ presence and teaching that caused the demon to react (see also Mark 5:39). When Jesus is lifted up and His Word communicated, demons who are present will be affected for they can’t stand to hear these things. Correct teaching of God’s Word is essential for a church or individual to grow spiritually. Don’t be surprised when it stirs up opposition against a person, family or church. Satan will do what he can to silence it, to keep the light from shining in his kingdom of darkness.
LESSON FOR TODAY 4: How many demons were involved in this incident? “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!” Usually there is more than one demon involved when someone is demonized, there is a structured organization. Satan organizes his demons in the same manner God has angels organized – in a military-like structure. These are similar to generals, colonels, majors, lieutenants, sergeants, corporals, privates, etc. (Ephesians 6:12). Usually a “strong man” (or ruler) is assigned to a task, and he has lesser demons under his command to help in the work (Matthew 12:25-29; Daniel 10:2-6, 12-14). The names of these demons usually refer to their work (“Fear,” “Anger,” “Lust,” “Pride,” “Deception,” etc.). In this case the ruling demon is the one speaking (“I”) for the others who are part of the group working against this man (“us”).
LESSON FOR TODAY 5: While the demon(s) in this man try to bait Jesus into communicating with them, He refuses to do so. Do not converse with demons, either by having them give messages to a person’s mind or to speak verbally through a person’s vocal cords. The object in deliverance is not to get in contact with demons but to remove them. It is not to get them to speak but to cause them to be silent! Communication with them makes you a medium and God’s words forbids that (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
There are good reasons God forbids communication with them. Neither Jesus (Mark 1:25) nor Paul would (Acts 16:17) encouraged them to speak. They are liars and deceivers (John 8:44) and you can’t believe what they say. God wants you to be in touch with Him only (Deuteronomy 4:24). Through the Holy Spirit we have access to all truth and power (John 8:31-32; I Corinthians 12:7-11). By communicating with demons, you give them recognition, allow them to stall and deceive, give them the focus and attention they crave, make things much harder on all people involved, and open yourself up to pride. Communicating with demons can be a temptation to pride and we can find ourselves drawn into working by the power of our own flesh. We don’t need any information they might give us, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The only time Jesus ever talked to a demon was for the purpose of showing those who were watching how many demons were involved and therefore how great His power was (Mark 5:9). Eve got into a dialogue with Satan and was deceived by him (Genesis 3:1-16 – for more about this see THE BATTLE BEGINS Genesis 3:8-15). If there is something you need to know, God will show it. Don’t ever expect a demon to give information that will lead to his own defeat!
LESSON FOR TODAY 6: When the demons left this man they shook him and caused him to scream loudly. Sometimes demons will try to manifest in ways that are intended to bring fear to a person, but Jesus never allowed demonic manifestations to get out of hand and neither should we. In Jesus’ name bind them, take away their power to resist, and command them to obey immediately and quietly when commanded in Jesus’ name. We do not have to put up with their antics for they are only done to distract and to cause fear in us and recognition of their power. We know God is greater than they are (I John 4:4).
LESSON FOR TODAY 7: The first ocassion of an act or event in the Bible often sets the prototype for others to come, and that is true of this first deliverance in the Caernaum synagogue. The exact methods used by Jesus to cast out spirits are mentioned in only five specific cases and in only one generalized case (which appears first on the following list):
Matt 8:16: “He cast out the spirits with a word.”
Matt 15:28: “Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.”
Mark 1:25: “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’”
Mark 5:8: “For He had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’”
Mark 9:25: “He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.’”
Luke 13:12-13: “He called her and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.’ And he laid his hands upon her ….”
So generally speaking, it is true to say that Jesus cast out the spirits “with a word.” This refers to a short sentence or phrase according to the five examples given above, and not to some singular word. And what was that “phrase?” According to the above examples it was: “Be it done,” “Come out (3 times)” and “You are freed.” Jesus cast out spirits by a verbal command. In three of these cases, the command was, “Come out” (exerchomai ek), which is an adjuration. In the remaining case[s] it was, “Be it done,” [and “You are freed,”] which are decrees of accomplishment. In two of these cases, He accompanied the verbal command with a verbal “rebuke.” This rebuke was once stated as being, “Be silent.” Hence, the commands used by Jesus contained variety, being tailored to fit the occasion or the subject. He used no rigid formula, no incantations, no rituals, no charms, etc.as did Hebrew exorcists. There are no special prayers, no ‘magic’ words or phrases to use or pray, no set way of “doing deliverance.” Each situation is different, but all include the believer using Jesus’ power and authority to stop the demons’ work and to command them to be gone. Be sensitive to God’s Spirit when dealing with such things and proceed as you feel Him leading you. Don’t expect Him to lead the same as He does others, nor will He always lead you the same way. It’s not our words or actions that bring deliverance, it’s always and only His power. Just tap into it!
What can you learn from this first encounter Jesus had with a demonized person? How can it help you in your own battles?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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